Archive for the ‘Hacking’ Category

Winner, Name that Ware May 2023

Friday, June 30th, 2023

Last month’s ware is the Automatic AUT-450C “Connected Car Assistant” (OBD-II code scanner and GPS tracker with cellular, WiFi, and Bluetooth connectivity). The company went out of business shortly after the start of the pandemic.

Here’s some more views of the ware — I had left out some boards and views that made it a bit more challenging to identify, perhaps a bit too challenging.

The hole cut-out that many assumed was a camera was actually a supercap — it is rated for 3.0V at 1F. Based on its direct connection to a switching regulator I’m guessing it’s there to coordinate safe shut-down of the SoC, and not for RTC maintenance.

It’s a bit tough to pick a winner this month. Both Cody and Adrian shared detailed explanations, but I think overall Adrian might have gotten closest first, with a link to a fleet tracking device. I think the device is pretty close to what you’d have in a fleet tracker, but with a B2C business model instead of a B2B business model. Congrats Adrian, email me for your prize!

Name that Ware, May 2023

Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

The Ware for May 2023 is shown below.

This is yet another fine ware contributed by jackw01. I suspect this one may be guessed quite quickly, but I’ll leave one hint anyways: there is more than one board in this assembly.

Hint #2

June 15 2023 — No correct guesses yet, yet it’s difficult to give another hint without totally giving it away. But, here goes! This is another one of the boards in the assembly:

Winner, Name that Ware April 2023

Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

The ware for April 2023 is an X-rite DTP22 spectrophotometer. This one almost made it through the month without being guessed, but congrats to cpresser for figuring it out in the last week! email me for your prize.

Here’s some more context images of the ware. The colored filter disk is quite pretty, but if I had included it in the original photoset the function of the ware would have been a bit too … transparent.

Thanks again to artemb for contributing such an interesting ware!

Name that Ware, April 2023

Sunday, April 30th, 2023

The Ware for April 2023 is shown below.

Another PCB with a funny shape, this time from a different era…but what does it do?

Thanks to artemb for contributing this ware!


Still no correct answers, so here’s another hint. See that connector in the lower right hand corner of the bottom side of the board? Something stacks on it, and it looks like this:

Winner, Name that Ware March 2023

Sunday, April 30th, 2023

The Ware for March 2023 is the controller board from a Hövding 3 “Airbag for Urban Cyclists”. Congrats to jackw01 for arriving at the correct answer! congrats, email me for your prize. This one was surprisingly difficult to guess from just the PCB alone, but once the associated actuators and sensors were revealed, it was quickly resolved. Here’s some more images of the gas generator itself:

Still mind boggling to me that anyone would rely on something so complicated as a primary form of protection, but I suppose I am just old fashioned and that’s where we are headed in general.